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News Release Information

15-60-SAN
Friday, January 16, 2015

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area - December 2014

Area prices were down 0.9 percent over the past two months, up 2.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.9 percent for the two months ending December 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline and apparel. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 2.7 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices fell 11.8 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.6 percent since December 2013.

 

Food

Food prices were unchanged from October to December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.5 percent,while prices for food away from home increased 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.2 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 3.8 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home moved up 2.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index dropped 13.7 percent for the two months ending in December 2014. The decline was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-19.5 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 9.2 percent, and prices for electricity decreased 3.8 percent since October.

Energy prices fell 11.8 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-20.3 percent). Prices paid for electricity moved down 2.9 percent, but prices for natural gas service jumped 21.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.1 percent in the latest two month period. Lower prices for apparel (-5.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.6 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for recreation (0.6 percent), other goods and services (0.5 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.4 percent) and recreation (2.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in education and communication (-1.7 percent) and apparel (-1.0 percent).

Table A. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month200920102011201220132014
Bi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnual

February

1.71.20.81.81.01.71.13.01.32.41.22.4

April

0.80.80.71.71.82.80.92.10.82.41.22.8

June

0.80.20.21.1-0.22.40.32.60.52.60.73.0

August

0.00.2-0.11.00.42.90.62.80.12.00.03.0

October

0.10.10.10.90.33.20.73.20.21.60.53.2

December

-0.82.6-0.21.5-0.42.9-1.42.2-0.42.6-0.92.7

 

CPI-W

In December, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 247.680, down 1.1 percent from October. The CPI-W increased 2.1 percent over the year.

The February 2015 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose is scheduled to be released on March 24, 2015.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) a CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) which covers approximately 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 percent of the total population. The CPI-U includes, in addition to wage earners and clerical workers, groups such as professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and retirees and others not in the labor force.

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Each month, prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 retail establishments--department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index.

The index measures price changes from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights that represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. Because the sample size of a local area is smaller, the local area index is subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error than the national index. In addition, local indexes are not adjusted for seasonal influences. As a result, local area indexes show greater volatility than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. NOTE: Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices between cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.

The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Solano Counties in the State of California.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the San Francisco Information Office at (415) 625-2270 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

254.503-252.2732.7-0.9-

All items (1967=100)

782.414-775.559---

Food and beverages

256.242-256.1693.30.0-

Food

256.300-256.2003.20.0-

Food at home

250.231246.692249.0123.8-0.50.9

Food away from home

262.998-264.3262.50.5-

Alcoholic beverages

260.806-261.0454.60.1-

Housing

282.936-282.9935.10.0-

Shelter

318.105318.562319.1025.40.30.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

355.811358.557359.3536.01.00.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

342.580344.211345.0855.10.70.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

342.580344.211345.0855.10.70.3

Fuels and utilities

342.101-333.6055.9-2.5-

Household energy

306.859287.641291.0681.7-5.11.2

Energy services (1)

306.098286.365290.1752.2-5.21.3

Electricity (1)

314.185302.215302.215-2.9-3.80.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

279.513240.362253.81421.3-9.25.6

Household furnishings and operations

134.772-133.9931.7-0.6-

Apparel

117.618-111.562-1.0-5.1-

Transportation

196.461-184.823-4.2-5.9-

Private transportation

183.551-173.298-5.2-5.6-

Motor fuel

268.189242.194216.165-20.2-19.4-10.7

Gasoline (all types)

266.881240.847214.918-20.3-19.5-10.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

267.856241.440214.886-20.7-19.8-11.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

247.580223.578200.835-19.3-18.9-10.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

248.619225.649202.728-19.2-18.5-10.2

Medical care

------

Recreation (5)

110.791-111.4152.70.6-

Education and communication (5)

141.655-141.535-1.7-0.1-

Other goods and services

428.608-430.5932.40.5-
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

254.503-252.2732.7-0.9-

Commodities

183.442-178.574-1.1-2.7-

Commodities less food & beverages

142.793-136.135-4.4-4.7-

Nondurables less food & beverages

184.555-171.969-5.7-6.8-

Durables

102.836-101.423-2.6-1.4-

Services

314.144-314.1204.60.0-
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

246.416-243.8212.4-1.1-

All items less shelter

229.746-226.0381.0-1.6-

Commodities less food

148.013-141.522-3.9-4.4-

Nondurables

221.904-215.193-0.7-3.0-

Nondurables less food

190.491-178.724-4.7-6.2-

Services less rent of shelter (2)

325.352-323.9573.6-0.4-

Services less medical care services

305.225-304.9894.5-0.1-

Energy

285.743261.986246.682-11.8-13.7-5.8

All items less energy

255.937-255.6043.5-0.1-

All items less food and energy

256.676-256.3053.6-0.1-

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 16, 2015